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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2007
This has been in my top 3 albums of all time ever since I first heard it back at the beginning of the 80s. The sound of the original LP is very good so it is the extras that are the attraction here. As well as the bonus track and promo videos of two songs (excellent - I've never come across any of this played 'live') there are two interesting commentaries PLUS - you finally find out what the weird shot inside the gatefold is all about. That's been bugging me for nearly 30 years :) I won't spoil it for you - just look at the extra pictures in the sleeve.

Very gratefully received - thanks Chris Squire
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on 8 March 2017
Great deal
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VINE VOICEon 2 July 2007
This is an excellent album. Yes bassist Chris Squire created a solo work as grandiose as much of his work with that band but with a twist. His virtuoso bass work is very much to the fore and an orchestra accompanies him much of the time rather than synths or guitar. The best thing about this work is that you get to hear plenty of Squire`s wonderful singing voice, which blends perfectly with Jon Anderson in Yes, but here he shows what an excellent lead singer he is in his own right. The highlights for me are the spacey prog of "Hold out your hand", the quasi jazz/classical fusion of "Silently falling" and the over-the-top "Safe (Canon song)". This has been due the remastering treatment for a long time and the bonus DVD with the rare promos for "Hold out your hand" and "You by my side" will be most welcome. The only pity is that Squire has never made a follow up. This CD, much like Jon Anderson`s "Olias of Sunhillow" and Steve Howe`s "Beginnings", shows what talents Chris brought to Yes in the mid 70`s.
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on 11 July 2015
I remember first getting this back just after it had come out and being slightly disappointed by it. True there was some brilliant bass work on it but I was expecting more breath-taking bass runs than were on show here. How naïve I was as for Chris, master musician that he was, it was always about the music and not how fast he could play or how flashy he could be. What we have here is an incredibly well crafted album and from the moment the pipe organ starts up on 'Hold out your hand' you realise there's going to be nothing run-of-the-mill about this album. There's not a wasted note here and it's good to see Bill Bruford teaming up again with Chris and giving a crisp punchy sound to the rhythm section. Patrick Moraz also puts in an appearance with some scintillating organ work. But Chris is the star of the show here with his unique bass playing to the fore but never over shadowing the rest of the music. Rather interestingly, Chris ops for no lead guitar work just some electric 12 string which gives the music a distinctive sound. All the songs are good, with the opening track 'Hold out your hand' and 'You by my side' 'Silently falling' and 'Lucky seven' being distinctively different from what you might expect him to come up with. The longer tracks, 'Silently falling and 'Safe', hold the attention very well with 'Safe' making an epic closing track. The use of strings also gives the music a distinctive sound and seems to work really well with none of the drawbacks that are found on 'Time and word' when strings were used. I believe that 'Parallels' was left over from this album and it would have been interesting to see what treatment it would have had if included (still it proved to be a classic 'Yes' song in the end) All in all, Chris maybe gone but he is not forgotten and this, his only solo work (apart from 'Swiss Choir' which is a collection of Christmas Carols), stands as a fine testimony to him not so much as a great bass player (which he undoubtedly was) but a great musician!
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on 30 August 2015
Released in November 1975 'Fish Out Of Water' is, in my opinion, the second best Yes solo album after Patrick Moraz's 'Story Of i'. 'Hold Out Your Hand' is similar in style to 'Parallels' on 'Going For The One'. 'Lucky Seven' is relatively stripped down and jazzy while 'You By My Side' is the obligatory ballad though it's pleasant enough. 'Silently Falling' and 'Safe (Canon Song)' are big Yes-like songs. The latter, in particular, has an epic almost spiritual quality to it. Indeed there's a very English, pastoral feel to the whole album which I like.
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on 8 December 2005
This is a hidden gem, probably the best of the solo projects from Yes' members in 1975/76. Squire shows he can put a good song together, and surrounds himself with fine musicians (Bill Bruford on drums, Pat Moraz on organ, Andrew Pryce Jackman on piano and Mel Collins on sax), plus a small orchestra and on "Hold Out Your Hand", Barry Rose, the sub-organist of St Pauls, on pipe organ. Squire shows off his technique and the wonderful sound he gets on his bass but always in sympathy with the music. Some of the arrangements though are longer than is good for them, in particular "Safe", the final track which loses its shape during the final 5 minutes or so, a shame as it starts wonderfully. My personal favourite is "Silently Falling" which has a great Moraz Hammond solo, one of the best things I've heard him do.
Unfairly forgotten, if you like Yes especially from "The Yes Album" era I think you'll like this album too.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2007
Surprisingly, "Fish Out Of Water" is the only solo album to date from the Yes bassist. Recorded during the band hiatus between "Relayer" and "Going For The One" when all members recorded a solo album, this still stands up pretty well. Though lyrically the subject matter is more "straightforward" than Jon Anderson's oblique opaqueness, musically this is as solid and sweeping as the best of Yes music. Squire's pumping bass is well to the fore throughout and is ably supported by a host of excellent musicians. These include fellow Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz on Hammond and bass synthesiser, Mel Collins, playing some wonderful sax, the ever impressive Jimmy Hastings on flute and surprisingly ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. It was so good at the time to hear the old Yes rhythm section back together again!

Opening with "Hold Out Your Hand" which could have been a Yes classic in the making, this grand opening shows how important Squire was to the Yes sound. With Barry Rose on church organ this is a stirring and emphatic start and sort of pre-empts "Parallels" from "Going For The One". Though Anderson is renowned for his vocal arrangements within Yes, Squire's multi-tracked vocal parts on this album are quite spectacular.

A highlight for me is "Lucky Seven". Beginning with a nice electric piano intro from Squire's ex-Syn partner, the late Andrew Jackman this leads into a typically tight and inventive bass part with Bruford equally sharp on drums. Mel Collins really shines on this with some beautifully lyrical sax soloing.

This newly remastered version is released on Squires own label and the care that has gone into putting all this together is clearly evident. The album is packaged in a beautiful glossy fold-out digipack which house the CD and bonus DVD. The latter includes promos for two songs from the album, an interview with Squire as well as his commentary on the album. The booklet includes all lyrics, credits and some enhanced artwork based on the original album design. To be honest the remastering doesn't really add much compared to the existing CD version. This isn't the sonic revelation some may be looking for. Maybe there is a bit more openness in the sound and there are some instruments which appear clearer in the mix, but to my ears the full symphonic grandeur of the recording isn't done full justice. Maybe I was just expecting too much, considering it was recorded over 30 years and mostly in Squire's own studio. But overall this is a nicely done, quality package of one of the better solo albums to come out of the Yes camp. Now if only Jon Anderson would produce a deluxe version of "Olias Of Sunhillow"!
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on 23 June 2008
A brilliant album and of interest not just to Yes fans. In 1976 King Crimson had just split up (again, and not for the last time either) following the recording of their most fabulous album 'Red'. This album follows almost immediately and has Bill Bruford on drums, back with his old rhythm section partner Chris Squire, and as mentioned by previous reviewer Mel Collins who's fantastic saxophone stuff from King Crimson is continued on this album. This is not a Yes album, ok neither is it King Crimson, but perhaps exists somewhere in between. Also agree wth previous review that 'Lucky Seven' is the standout track, compare with 'Starless'.
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on 13 August 2007
I originally bought this CD on a Jap import in the early 90's.
Once I heard this remastered deluxe package was coming out I had to get it.

Comparing the remastered version to the original, I cannot honestly hear
any improvement in the sound. I was more expecting a major improvement along the lines
of the Led Zeppelin Remasters or more recently the excellent Genesis stereo remixes. I guess
it comes down to available budget etc. Now I haven't heard the more recent Wounded Bird
Records version so please don't let this put you off.
The DVD more than makes up for this.

As for the DVD you get the following :-
Promo videos for Hold Out Your Hand and You By My Side in pretty good quality for the age.
41 minute interview with Squire conducted in Nov 2006. Some great anecdotes!
52 minute film of Squire doing an audio commentary with more insight
into the making of the album, backing tracks, recording process - everything you pretty
much needed to know.

Parallels was originally intended for FOOW but due to time contraints of
vinyl ended up on Yes - Going For The One.
Brian Lane took the cover photograph at the Detroit Hilton elevator doors -
Always wondered about that cover.
Squire also talks a little about his upcoming solo album and how he has 29 min of
musical ideas (as at Nov 06)and how although not aiming at another orchestral
influenced album it is leaning in that direction but different.

I can highly recommend this package. Of the Yes solo albums from the mid 70's this is generally
regarded the best. Probably as Squire says it is
the most Yes like due to Brufords jazz drumming and also having Patrick Moraz on keyboards.

One of the best 70s prog albums!!!
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on 17 August 2007
A clinical approach would give this album / package 4 stars, but it gets the 5th beacuse of its uniqueness.

Fish Out Of Water will never be repeated quite simply because - as comes over in the DVD interview - it is not strictly a solo album, but a wonderfully successful pairing of Squire and his old pal from the Syn and from childhood the late Andrew Jackman.

Jackman's orchestrations are so much what FOOW is all about that it seems a little unjust not to credit him on the front cover. Squire, it seems, offered to share his name with Jackman as co-composer, but Jackman modestly declined, accepting just arranger's tag. A footnote on this tastefully presented remaster dedicating it to AJ's memory would have been appropriate, I think.

On the DVD Squire's running commentary on the entire album - while it plays in the background in real time - is a bold experiment. It works to an extent, but would have been both so much more valid, and fluid, had Jackman been around to enter dialogue with Chris. It is certainly a tall order for anyone to perform an off the cuff monologue for 40 minutes, so there are a few awkward pauses in the commentary. However if you already love this album you will no doubt listen to the many titbits with interest... such as how he achieved that unusual, haunting bass effect right at the end of the album.

For me there is a lot more clarity in this remaster over the original CD. I am noticing more little touches, and an overall freshness to the sound.

As a PS Chris mentions he is working on a long awaited second 'solo' album that he suggests will also have an orchestral leaning, and links with FOOW in that he is collaborating with the contemporary Syn keyboardist. However there was only one Andrew Jackman, and so there will surely only ever be one Fish Out Of Water.
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